What do electrical engineers do?

Many potential students ask themselves, “What do electrical engineers do?” These professionals design, improve and manufacture electrical equipment and applications.

The growth of technological innovations and the sophistication of consumer electronics are expected to drive the demand for electrical engineers in the future.

the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of over 20,000 new electrical and electronics engineers between 2020 and 2030. Here, we explore this promising field in detail, highlighting the requirements and lifestyle of the field.

Electrical Engineer Lifestyle and Duties

Electrical engineers can take on many tasks in a day depending on their specific position.

For example, their duties may include:

  • Design and develop electrical systems, devices and products
  • Calculation of fabrication and installation specifications and requirements
  • Creation of technical drawings for construction, installation and operation
  • Identifying and Resolving Power System Problems
  • Handling complaints from the public or the organization

As an electrical engineer, you can work with manufacturers, programmers, governments, and research and development professionals.

Electrical engineering jobs exist in many industries, including power generation, manufacturing, research and development, and telecommunications.

Electrical engineers can work in many environments depending on their role and projects. According to the BLS, most engineers work full-time in an office setting, sometimes including home offices for remote workers.

Projects may require on-site visits to meet with customers, oversee manufacturing, or resolve issues. You may encounter stressful situations in the face of obstacles or deadlines.

Future engineers may need to update their skills and training throughout their careers to stay competitive.

Salary Expectations as an Electrical Engineer

The median annual electrical engineering salary was $103,390 in May 2020. The top 10% in the profession earned more than $159,520, while the lowest 10% earned less than $64,870.

Salary expectations also depend on the industry. Research and development positions paid a median annual salary of $116,050, semiconductor manufacturing paid $107,680, and power generation paid $102,510.

What does it take to become an electrical engineer?

To enter this profession, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Candidates can enrich their resume by completing internships or programs that provide hands-on experience.

Graduates typically start as entry-level, associate, or junior engineers. They can usually move into leadership and management positions with several years of work experience or advanced education, such as an online master’s degree in electrical engineering.

The improved salaries and opportunities of these positions can make them very competitive.

Electrical engineers can also pursue a professional license with the National Society of Professional Engineers. This title allows engineers to provide additional services. It requires a minimum of four years of experience, passing two exams, and obtaining a state license.

What skills do I need as an electrical engineer?

Electrical engineers have a rich and diverse skill set. Their specialized training provides them with technical abilities while honing their most valuable people skills.

In addition to strong communication, math, and concentration skills, they must be able to design circuits and systems, work with technical drawings, and design software.

Below, you will find the main hard and soft skills used in the field. Your specific education and career may require a different set.

Technical skills

  • Circuit design knowledge
  • Creation and reading of electrical diagrams
  • Build and test electronic equipment
  • Working with Linear Systems
  • Handling equipment and measures

Social abilities

  • Communication
  • Concentration
  • Leadership and initiative
  • Organizational
  • Detail-oriented and process-oriented

Is electrical engineering for me?

A career in electrical engineering has many advantages. Professionals in this field have the ability to create new technologies, the ability to improve lives, and the opportunity to earn competitive salaries.

Use this guide to learn more about the field and determine if it provides what you need to be happy and satisfied in your professional life.

Unless otherwise stated, salary and career development data are taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to March 23, 2022.